Birding in Spain: The Ultimate Guide

Birding in Spain - feature image

A geographically diverse jewel in the Iberian Peninsula, Spain is perhaps one of the best countries in the world for birding. From the Pyrenees Mountain Range lining the North of Spain’s mainland, to the Canary Islands off the coast of North-western Africa, the autonomous communities of Spain are a mosaic of natural landscapes. For this reason, birding in Spain is a delightful experience for bird lovers, or even just for those who admire wildlife more generally.

In this guide I will begin with a brief introduction to birding in Spain, and then discuss in depth the various regions, cities, islands and national parks in Spain, within which birding is the most fruitful. Additionally, we will take a look at some of the best lodges for those setting off on birdwatching expeditions around the country, and some of the best equipment for use on these expeditions. So without further ado…

a brief introduction to birding in spain

Acting as a passageway between Africa and Europe, Spain is a bustling natural aviary for a number of migratory birds. In particular, the strait of Gibraltar is one of the best places in Europe to see swathes of soaring birds on migration routes. Additionally, there are a number of beautiful birds endemic to the country which you’ll have a great chance of seeing too.

Birds-of-prey are common due to Spain having the second-highest altitude of any country in Europe – only Switzerland outranks it. Most of Spain is made up of mountains and hills, with ranges sweeping from west to east across the country. But these ranges are interspersed with lowlands and open plains which provide habitats for many other bird species. The birder can therefore experience two very different worlds. In the morning, they might explore the high tops, looking for high-altitude birds like the Alpine Accentor, and later in the day they can descend onto the lowlands. Where they can spot Bustards and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse – species which are either very rarely seen or completely absent in the rest of Europe.

The lowlands also play host to a variety of larks, including the tiny lesser Short-toed and the elusive Dupont’s Lark. Not to mention the enormous Calandra. In the winter months, huge flocks of cranes migrate from northern Europe to these lowland areas, so birders will have the chance to see these too. In the south, and in particular the forests of Extremadura and Andalucia, the birder can spot a variety of raptors, including the impressive Spanish imperial eagle.

Now, let’s explore in more depth some of the species you might see when you go ‘Spain birding’.

birds of spain

There are around 613 species of bird found in Spain. Of these, 324 are ‘accidental’ or ‘vagrant’, and 21 have been introduced by humans. Three species unfortunately have not been recorded since 1950, nine are endemic to Spanish islands, and one of the endemic species is extinct. Further, of the 613, 121 have only been recorded in the Canary islands and/or the African enclaves.

Birds of Northern Spain

The northern region of the country is generally colder, and swathes of land within this region are known as Green Spain – which rather speaks for itself. Green Spain stretches from the Basque country along the Atlantic seaboard through Cantabria and Asturias to Galicia, and is so named because it rains a lot. Notable birdwatching areas in the north of Spain include:

Laguna de Gallocanta:

This endorheic lake in Aragon can be found just to the south of Gallocanta Village. The lake is probably the best spot in Spain for viewing the White Stork and Common Crane.

Belchite Steppes (including El Planeron Ornithological Reserve):

This mighty steppe region is home to a diverse range of birdlife, including the rare and treasured Dupont’s Lark. Additionally, birders will likely see Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Lesser Kestrel, and at least 7 other species of lark including the Lesser Short-toed Lark. Birders might even spot a Bonelli’s Eagle, which tend to be found around Tosos Reservoir.

Los Monegros (steppe between Huesca, Lerida and Zaragoza):

A semi-desert area of gypsum hills that is prone to drought, birders will find many of the same species here as in the Belchite Steppes. Perhaps with the addition of the Black-shouldered Kite, and the Black Wheatear, though both are occasionally found in the Belchite region too.

Sierra de Guara:

A mountain massif in the province of Huesca, here birders could see the Bearded vulture, Egyptian and Griffon Vultures, Booted, Golden and Short-toed Eagles, Wallcreeper (mostly in winter – on cliffs), Blue Rock-thrush, Alpine Accentor and Rock Bunting.

Pyrenees – Aragon – Jaca area (including Hecho Valley):

In these mountainous regions birders may again find Vultures, Golden Eagles, Alpine Accentors and Wallcreepers. Additionally though, there may be Alpine and Red-billed Choughs, Citril and Snow Finches.

Birds of Southern Spain

All-together hotter than the northern provinces, southern Spain encompasses some of the best birding areas in all of the country. Including those in Andalucia and Extremadura, which I will cover in more detail later in this article. For now, here are some of the best birding spots in southern Spain.

Sierra de Andujar Natural Park:

Here birders have a good chance of seeing Spanish Imperial and Golden eagles, Cinereous and Griffon Vultures, Iberian Azure-winged Magpies and Rock Sparrows.

La Laguna de Fuente de la Piedra:

The birds you are most likely to see here are the Greater Flamingo – in fact, the largest Flamingo colony in the Iberian Peninsula resides here. The Common Crane can also be seen (large flocks in winter) as well as a variety of shorebirds, including the Gull-billed Tern and the Slender-billed Gull.

Sierra de Aracena Natural Park:

In summer time birders have a chance of seeing the Black Stork, the rare Black Vulture and the Red-necked Nightjar here.

Chipiona and the Bonanza Saltpans:

Along the Atlantic coast, in the town of Chipiona and at the bird observatory at the Bonanza Saltpans, birders are in their element. Here you will likely spot the Marbled Teal, Western Swamphen, Audouin’s Gull and maybe the Little Swift around the harbour.

birding in spain: regions

Birding Andalucia

Saline lagoons, rivers, marshlands, sand dunes, cliffs and evergreen forests characterize the region of Andalucia. Divided into eight provinces, Andalucia is one of the most beautiful and biodiverse regions in the Iberian Peninsula. Home to the world’s largest cork-oak forest, and the desert-resembling ‘badlands’, the region is a geographical mosaic with a huge diversity of habitats. Which, in turn, is the reason that such great numbers of avifauna reside here.

Spring (particularly April and May) sees the region in full bloom. During these months birders can see many wintering species in plain sight, crossed with those arriving for the summer months. Unfortunately this is also the time of year when guides are more busy. So you’ll have to contend with other keen birders for guided birdwatching tours. If you’re looking for good hotel rates, agreeable birding conditions and tour guides’ availability, then you’ll want to visit Andalucia from November till March. In this period you’ll find lots of wintering species, especially cranes, ducks and waders. July and August are generally not recommended for birding in this region.

Andalucia is generally very accessible, with Malaga International Airport being the ‘gateway’ to the region. Seville, Gibraltar and Granada airports are also nearby. Aside from birding, Andalucia has sensational weather, welcoming people and delicious food.

Birds of Andalucia

Iberian specialties are abundant in this region, and birders should have no trouble spotting many of them. They include: Flamingos, Spoonbills, Black-winged Kite, Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Azure-winged Magpie, Trumpeter Finch, White-headed Duck, Marbled Teal, both types of Bustards, Glossy and Bald Ibis, Red-knobbed Coot, the Spanish Imperial Eagle and lots, lots more. The Spanish Imperial Eagle is especially impressive considering it is only found in the Iberian Peninsula, and has come back from near extinction in recent years. The world population was down to around 50 pairs at one time, but thanks to conservation efforts, there are now almost 400 breeding pairs.

There are a number of great birding spots within the Andalucia region. You might want to head to the limestone mountains near Ronda and Grazalema in Western Malaga, well-known for raptor-spotting. After that, you’ll want to hike through Torcal de Antequera, one of the most fantastic karst landscapes in the country. And within which you may see some of the more difficult birds, such as the Ring Ouzel and the Rock Thrush. And don’t forget the Osuna Farmlands, where you’ll see flocks of Great and Little Bustards, and maybe even the Lesser Kestrel. Further, you may want to visit Guadalhorce Nature Reserve. 250 bird species have been reported in this estuary in Malaga Province so far. But the real attraction is the White-headed duck.

Andalucia is also the region in which one of the most spectacular avian migrations takes place. Twice a year, the Tarifa bird migration sees the strait of Gibraltar come alive with flocks of raptors heading north in the Spring (mainly March-May), and south in the Autumn (August-November). Usually in incredible numbers.

Birding Tarifa and the Gibraltar Strait

More than 400 species of birds make the bi-annual flights across the Strait of Gibraltar. The most commonly seen species include the Honey Buzzard, Short-toed Eagle, Black Kite and the Booted Eagle. Birders may also be able to see Ospreys, Eurasian Hobbies, Black Storks, Marsh and Montagu’s Harriers, all of which are flying south to Sub-Saharan Africa, to get away from Europe’s winter.

Tarifa specifically, is the southernmost municipality on the Iberian Peninsula. From here, it is just a 14km journey to cross to Africa. However, the wind plays a huge role in determining where exactly flocks of birds will cross the European borderline. Sometimes, depending on the winds, birds will cross further west, near Bolonia, or east, near Gibraltar itself. Thousands of birds use Tarifa as a resting point when making their way south for the winter. Including passerines, swifts and waders.

Northeast of Tarifa (around a 25 minute drive), at Cazalla, there is a purpose-built ‘bird pass observatory’. A fantastic place for observing the passing raptors. And, just to the south of Cazalla, in Punta Camorro, there is the Centro Internacional de Migracion de Aves. Another site which is often highly recommended. To the Northwest of Tarifa, you’ll find Laguna de los Lances, and a beach of the same name. This coastal area is an important habitat for rare seabirds. In fact, it is the best site in Europe for spotting the rare Lesser Crested Tern.

If you’d like to go birding in and around Tarifa, check out this excellent birdwatching tour.

Birding Lodges: Where to Stay in Andalucia

If you want to be near Tarifa, and be well-positioned for seeing the migration on the Gibraltar Strait, there are two hotels that I recommend. The first is the Meson Sancho Hotel, which is perfectly situated to enjoy both the beach and the birdwatching. Additionally, some rooms come with a deck, which afford a beautiful view. Not to mention it is a great setting for birdwatching. The second hotel is the Manolo Mayo, which sits in the centre of Los Palacios, a small town just 20 minutes from Seville. Aside from dishing up some of the best food in the region, it’s also a stone’s throw away from Donana National park, one of the best sites in Spain for birdwatching.

Here are some other recommendable accommodations that you may want to stay in whilst in Andalucia:

LocationAccommodationBirdwatching Opportunities
CadizHuerta Grande Rural Eco-ResortThis resort, made up of cabins and small houses, is in the hills overlooking the straits. Stretching over 7 hectares of land and set between two natural parks, it’s the perfect place to watch bird migrations fly over the Laurel and Cork Oak trees that surround you.
GranadaBuenavista and Jasmin CottageThis self-catering, rustic casita can be found in Orgiva, just an hour away from Granada and Andalucia’s most treasured monument, the Alhambra Palace. Additionally, the cottage is a great base from which to explore Las Alpujarras, an excellent area for birders.
MalagaMolino del SantoAn ideal base for birdwatchers travelling with their partners. This hotel was won an award for the “most romantic hotel in Spain”. The stream along the terrace is visited by Dippers, and you’ll see eagles and vultures flying above.

For a more cosy, house-style accommodation in Andalucia, check out this list of accommodations.

Birding Extremadura

The region of Extremadura brings together a spectacular variety of habitats for lots of different bird species. Thus far, 385 bird species have been recorded in the region. And this may largely be due to the excellent conservation of its natural habitats. Wood pasture (dehesa) is the most totemic landscape of the region, itself playing a vital part in the huge diversity of birds. But this region also boasts the high mountain landscapes of the Sierra de Gredos mountain range, the pasture lands of the peneplains, dense Mediterranean forest formations and a complex network of waterways. This great variety makes birding in Extremadura an incredibly fulfilling experience.

Monfrague National Park

There are several renowned birding areas in Extremadura. Firstly, you’ll definitely want to spend some time birding in Monfrague National Park. Home to a number of raptors, including Griffon and Cinereous Vultures, who are joined by Egyptian vultures in Spring. The best place for viewing them is around the Pena Falcon escarpment, where Castillo Monfrague makes the ideal viewpoint. From here, you’ll see vultures soar past you at eye level, and if you are patient, you also have a good chance of seeing Spanish Imperial Eagle, Golden Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle and Red Kite.

Another tremendous viewing point in the national park is the Salto del Gitano. This open-air observation deck sits on a 300M-high cliff and is the absolute best spot for viewing Griffin Vultures and their nesting sites. You can explore Monfrague using its self-guided routes, which are categorised by primary colours: yellow, which runs by the Tajadilla viewpoint, Green, by Arroyo de Malvecino-Cerro Gimio and Red, by Monfrague Castle. If you are travelling through by car, there are two routes with stops at main viewpoints. They run from Villareal de San Carlos (where the visitor centre is) to either the castle or to Portilla del Tietar. You can also bike or horse ride along the edges of the park, with prior permission.

Steppes of Extremadura

La Serena in particular is one of the most breath-taking steppe regions for birding in Spain. Characterized by enormous grassy plains, this area sustains the most important breeding populations of Great and Little Bustards in Europe. Not to mention it is home to Montagu’s Harriers, Lesser Kestrels and lots of Collared Praticoles, Pin-tailed and Black-Bellied Sandgrouse. The steppe regions are simply a must for anybody birdwatching Extremadura.

Jerez de los Caballeros (Dehesa Woodlands)

In the south of Extremadura, birders can sit atop the hilly peaks and scan the horizon with their binoculars. All around they will see Dehesa woodlands; sparsely positioned trees on a blanket of vibrant green grasslands. This vast landscape supports a seemingly imperishable community of bird life. Here, Black Storks have their largest populations and raptors are plenty. Old, abandoned houses provide shelter for European Rollers, Hoopoes, Wheatears and Thrushes. A true paradise for those wanting to go birding in Spain.

Birding in Spain - Dehesa, Extremadura
Dehesa, Extremadura

Birding Lodges: Where to Stay in Extremadura

LocationAccommodationBirdwatching Opportunities
TrujilloCasa Rural las CanterasAn old manor house, dating back to the late 1900s. It is set within a Special Protection Area for Birds and as such it is a brilliant location for birdwatching.
Sierra de MontanchezFinca Al-ManzilA 22 hectare finca on the southwestern slop of the Sierra de Montanchez, this accommodation is one with its natural setting. The birding opportunities are exceptional, and there are interesting hikes and ancient Roman and Moorish vestiges nearby.
Jaraiz de la VeraVaquería CantaElGalloStunning views over the Sierra de Gredos mountain range, olive orchards, a small lake and a variety of birds are afforded to the guests at this retreat. You can enjoy the long list of outdoor activities or simply relax and unwind.

Birding in spain: the mountains

Birding Pyrenees

I have already mentioned some fantastic birding areas in the ‘pre-Pyrenees’, such as the Belchite and Monegros Steppes. But here I will go into some more detail about birding around this magnificent mountain range. The natural wall between France and Spain, the Pyrenees is made up of high mountains, blankets of pine forest, networks of streams and luscious green meadows. Birds of prey are particularly abundant in this region. A birder with a keen eye will see Golden, Booted, Short-toed and Bonelli’s Eagles, Montagu’s Harriers and Black and Red Kites. Moreover, the incredible Lammergeier (Bearded Vulture) has one of its last strongholds in Europe here.

Birds of the Pyrenees

The best places to begin in the Pyrenees region are Hecho Valley and Ansó Valley. Which offer some of the best birding in Spain. Within these monumental landscapes birders can spot difficult specialties like Alpine Accentor, Wallcreeper (check the gorge walls and crags) and Snow Finch. And enjoy the spectacular mosaic of fir trees and rocky cliffs. Additionally, you’ll also want to visit the limestone massif of Sierra de Guara in Aragon, and watch from the cliffs as the Peregrine Falcons and Griffon Vultures soar past you. Moreover, you have a good chance of seeing Rock Sparrows, Thekla’s Lark, Dartford, Orphean and Sub-alpine Warblers at this site.

The pre-Pyrenees is also a very exciting area to visit when birding Spain. Especially because it is such a sparsely populated region, with regards to humans that is. However, luckily for us, it houses dense populations of birds of prey and Mediterranean birds like thrushes, buntings, bee-eaters and many, many more. Additionally, the semi-desert region of the Monegros Steppe is an excellent place to birdwatch. You’ll likely spot Great Bustard, Stone Curlew, Lesser Short-toed Lark and potentially the rare Dupont’s Lark.

birding in spain: National parks

Birding Donana

Donana National park can be found to the north of the Gibraltar Strait, just 2 hours from Tarifa. Because of its important location on the route between Europe and Africa, Donana’s huge stretches of salt marsh are a breeding ground as well as a resting point for thousands of European and African birds. As well as playing host to many species of migratory waterfowl during the winter months. With more than 260 different species of bird in the park annually, birding in Donana is an essential part of any serious birder’s itinerary.

The national park spans an area of 543 square kilometres, occupying the provinces of Huelva (most of its territory), Cadiz and Seville. It is the largest wetland in Western Europe. In the northern regions of Donana you’ll find the largest variety of birds and habitats that the park offers. Here, amongst the lakes, paddy fields and marshlands, you’ll see the Spanish Imperial Eagle, Marbled Teal, Red-knobbed Coot, Great Bittern and during the summer months, the Purple Heron.

In Southern Donana, around the mouth of the Guadalquivir, you can spot some of the most endangered species in the park. Including the White-headed duck and the Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin. And in Western Donana, around El Rocio, you’ll find some marvellous forests and lots of trails to take you through them. Here you may see the Iberian Chiffchaff, Iberian Magpie, Southern Grey Shrike, the Lesser-spotted Woodpecker and many more birds.

Birding Ebro Delta National Park

The Ebro delta lies in the North-eastern corner of Spain, roughly halfway between Barcelona and Valencia. It is comprised mainly of wetlands and covers an area of around 320 square kilometres. Habitats include rivers, lagoons, sand dunes, beaches, salt marshes, woodland and agricultural areas. As a result of this wide-ranging and diverse geography, the Ebro Delta enjoys a rich and varied abundance of bird life. In particular, it is a key breeding site for many rare species. Over 360 species of bird have been recorded in the park, either as residents or migrators.

Along the coastline birders will find a generous selection of gulls and terns, including roughly 80% of the world’s population of Audouin’s Gull. The presence of shallow bays makes for optimal feeding grounds for a number of waders, like the Black-winged Stilt, and the Avocet. The marshlands provide an ideal habitat for warblers and herons, and overhead you’ll see raptors soaring over the delta scanning for prey. South of the river Ebro you’ll find Collared Pratincole, Savi’s Warbler, Caspian Tern and of course, lots of other birds. In the northern half of the delta birders have the chance to see huge flocks of waders, gulls, ducks and terns; particularly at Fangar Bay.

For a slightly different pace, and very different wildlife, why not visit the national parks in East Africa whilst backpacking Kenya.

birding in spain: Provinces and cities

Birding Malaga

The province of Malaga lies Northeast of the Gibraltar Strait, and as such is a strategic location to view the bird migrations. It’s just a bonus that the province offers such natural beauty, comprising of wetlands, marshes, shores, scrublands, limestone mountains and Mediterranean forests. The result, a tapestry of habitats for a great variety of bird life. Here you’ll find flocks of flamingos and cranes, as well as a number of speciality species.

Malaga is full of great birding sites. The top sites are the Torcal de Antequera, a vast karst landscape and a hotspot for Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting, Rock Sparrow and Black-eared Wheatear. You’ll also want to venture to Fuente de Piedra Lagoon, the largest salt lagoon in Andalucia with the second largest flamingo colony in Europe. In spring, the area lights up with White-headed Duck, Lesser Flamingo, Red-crested Pochard and Black-winged Stilt. Keen birders won’t want to miss Ronda, Grazalema and Sierra de las Nievas either. These sites are famous for raptors, and a superb choice to visit during the migratory periods.

Additionally, it’s worth spending some time in Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park just south of Ronda. An area that offers some wonderful hiking routes as well as fantastic birding opportunities. Those who can scale to the highest altitudes may see the Alpine Accentor in winter. Moreover, when birding in Malaga it is a good idea to visit Guadalhorce River Mouth. This is the nearest birding spot to the city of Malaga and a great site for seeing waders and waterfowl. Common sightings include Kentish Plover and Booted Eagle. Last but not least, the El Chorro Gorge and the Caminito del Rey. In this wondrous limestone pass birders can see Bonelli’s Eagle, Peregrine Falcon and lots of Griffon Vultures.

Birding Barcelona

It may seem unusual to spend time in a city when birding. But, actually, Barcelona does offer a few great birdwatching sites. For instance it is well worth spending a few hours at the Llobregat Delta, found on the edge of Barcelona airport. Admittedly a small scale birding site in comparison to others I have discussed in this article, but it does have a few great hides from which rare birds are consistently seen year after year.

Additionally, Empordà Marshes Natural Park, near the French border, is a superb birding site. Thus far, over 300 different species of bird have been observed here, 93 of which make their nests in this area. As with many other sites in this article, this natural park’s wetlands are a significant resting point for birds during the migration period. And supposedly birders may see over 100 species of birds in a single day in the spring. Including Kentish Plover, Little Bittern, Lesser Grey Strike, Bearded Tit, Fan-tailed and Moustached Warblers.

birding in spain: islands

Birding Lanzarote

Perhaps paradoxically, the island of Lanzarote’s bird population has increased enormously over the past 50 years, correlating with increasing tourism and general development over that time. This is because as Lanzarote has developed, so to have its gardens, trees and grassy areas. Which, in turn, provide ideal habitats for a huge variety of resident and migrating birds. In fact, Lanzarote at certain times in the year can host over 300 species of bird. Which is what you would expect on an island characterized by such a diversity of landscapes. Comprised of a lunar-like interior, and covered with massifs and plains, Lanzarote emanates a dormant volcanic power. It has saltpans, rocky shores, cliffs and luckily, many tracks and pathways in its countryside and along the coast. So birders have a few routes to explore the island and search for different types of birds.

Birds of Lanzarote

There are many interesting species of bird on the island, and lots of great sites for spotting them. To begin with birders should visit the Famara Cliffs. Reaching up to 600m, this spectacular cliffy area is one of the best places on the island to spot the Barbary Falcon. Additionally, in late spring-summertime, you can see Eleonora’s Falcon, and maybe even Osprey and Egyptian Vultures. In addition to the cliff site, it is worth spending some time exploring Famara Plains. An extensive sandy plain that is tipped to be the best place for spotting Houbara Bustard, Cream-coloured Courser and Stone Curlew. It is also a great area for seeing Short-toed Lark, Hoopoe, Great Grey Shrike and Berthelot’s Pipit. Furthermore, in winter, you can see Short-eared Owl, Marsh Harrier, Skylark and White Wagtail here.

Next you’ll want to visit the Orzola Coast, specifically a place called Saladar. Here, at low tide, impressive numbers of waders can be spotted. Great Cormorant has also been seen here and it is likely you will see Osprey and Eleonora’s Falcon flying overhead. Moreover, this is a well-known wintering area for Spoonbill, and one of the best places on the island to spot Curlew. Now we head further inland to Los Cocoteros, where the salt pans play host to migrant waders, and Kentish Plovers build their nests. Occasionally some rarer species can be seen here, including Common Shelduck, Lesser Yellowlegs, Grey Phalarope, Temminck’s Stint and Pectoral and White-rumped Sandpipers. You may also want to visit Janubio Salt Pans, a great place to see migrant and wintering ducks.

An Extra Little Tip

If you’re looking for more, then try visiting the Arrecife Coast. The rocky shores and offshore reefs are great for seeing gulls and terns, and herons and waders are frequent visitors too. Spend some time at the Islas Canarias park, near Reducto Beach, where large numbers of passerine migrants can be found, and Cattle Egret nest in the tall trees along the promenade. The reef behind San Gabriel Castle is perhaps the best spot for Black-crowned Night Heron, Northern Pintail, and a variety of gulls and terns.

Birding Tenerife

The largest and most populous island of all seven Canary Islands, Tenerife offers some truly unique birding opportunities in some astonishingly beautiful surroundings. Take Teide National Park for instance, a UNESCO World Heritage site at the centre of the island, where Mount Teide stands as the highest point in Spain. Not to mention that it is the third-largest volcano in the world (from its base). The island also boasts the Macizo de Anaga (massif), which became a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2015.

Tenerife is a birder’s paradise, playing host to the largest number of endemic species in Europe. Among these species are the Blue Chaffinch, Kinglet, Canary Islands Chiffchaff and the two endemic pigeons; Bolle’s Pigeon and Laurel Pigeon. The best place to see the Blue Chaffinch and possibly the Great Spotted Woodpecker is the Las Lajas picnic and recreation area. This glorious pine forest on the outskirts of Teide National Park is also home to the African Blue Tit, and of course, the Canary. Other species to look out for include Berthelot’s Pipit, Barbary Falcon, Rock Sparrow, Barbary Partridge, and Plain and Pallid Swifts. If you’re lucky, looking out to sea you may spot Scopoli’s Shearwater and Bulwer’s Petrel in the rocky islets.

Birding Equipment

Quick Checklist for Birding in Spain

  • Binoculars (including telescopes)
  • Camera (including additions like tripods and lenses)
  • Phone (for using birding apps and possibly camera)
  • Field guide/checklist
  • Hat (birding trips involve being out in the sun for extended periods of time)
  • Solid hiking boots (interesting birds will draw you from the trail)
  • Rucksack
  • Notepad and pen
  • Bird feed and feeder

Best Birding Cameras (2021)

  • Nikon D500 Digital SLR Camera
  • Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Shoot Camera
  • Sony a99 II Digital SLR Camera
  • Canon 1483C002 EOS Digital SLR Bird Camera
  • Canon 9128B126 EOS Digital SLR Bird Camera

I do sincerely hope that this guide to birding in Spain has been useful for you. There is such a wide-ranging and wonderful variety of bird life in this country and its associated islands. Birders flock here from all over the world to observe the fantastic migrations, birds of prey that soar around the mountain ranges and thousands of other birds that line the wetlands and marshes. Hopefully this guide will help you to join them.

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